California Members Win Dues Suit Worth $3 Million

U.S. Dist. Judge William B. Shubb ruled May 8 that the California State Employees Ass’n must return approximately $3 million in forced union dues illegally seized from the paychecks of more than 37,000 employees throughout the state. “This ruling sends a clear message to Big Labor in California that they can no longer violate the rights of employees with impunity,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the Nat’l Right to Work Fdn.

Shubb found that CSEA bosses illegally seized forced union dues from employees without providing a proper independently audited financial disclosure of union expenditures as required by the NRTW-won U.S. Supreme Court case Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson. “Fearing that employees will learn how their dues are spent, union officials go to great lengths to hide the true extent of their political spending,” said Gleason.

Shubb ruled that CSEA bosses must return to all nonmembers 20%, plus interest, of all forced dues seized in the 1999 “fee-payer year.” Union officials seized approximately $1.1 million per month from 37,000 employees over 13 months.

The class-action suit was filed by Christine Cummings of Sacramento and seven other state employees in Nov. 1999, with the help NRTW on behalf of all state government workers in certain bargaining units who declined to join the union or who have joined since the union began enforcing its “forced-share fee” contract, which was signed by Gov. Gray Davis (D) on Oct. 10, 1999. [NRTW Media Release 5/8/01]